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Guide to Boiler Servicing

Common questions and mistakes

Guide to Boiler Servicing

Boilers are a critical part of our homes and one of the most common ways that we power our central heating and heat our water. That’s why it’s so important to make sure they’re working properly and to catch problems before they leave you in the cold.

Our guide will cover all the important things you need to consider in maintaining your boiler to keep you house warm throughout the year without costing you a fortune.

What actually happens at a boiler service?

The first element of making sure things are working correctly is to get your boiler serviced. This needs to be done by an approved Gas Safe engineer and should normally only take around half an hour. During their visit they will carry out a range of checks including:

  • Visual inspection – to make sure that there aren’t any signs of corrosion or leaks, and that the flame is visually as expected
  • Under the hood – they’ll remove the cover and check each component to make sure it’s working correctly and then clean the parts, like the burner and injectors
  • Flue check – a visual check that it’s ventilated correctly with no obstructions and a physical check that it runs effectively and safely
  • Gas safety – this includes looking at the gas pressure and inspecting relevant safety devices
  • Finishing up – finally they’ll make sure that it all fires up again and check for any working faults

At the end of the checks, they should issue you with a dated certificate or service document which will highlight the results as well as any observations or recommendations. In the event that there is something wrong, the engineer will let you know if the boiler doesn’t meet building and safety legislation and regulations so that you can get this fixed as necessary.

Why do I need to get one done?

There a couple of specific reasons why it’s worthwhile getting your boiler serviced:

  1. Keeping you and your family safe – around 4,000 people go to A&E every year with carbon monoxide poisoning. This and other safety issues that could go wrong with your boiler are unlikely to be caught by the average untrained person, so it’s always worth making sure everything is still OK or catching any issues early
  2. Maintaining your warranty – if your boiler is still under guarantee, there’s a good chance that it will only stay that way if you get it serviced once a year. Not doing so might void the warranty and leave you liable for any repair costs, so always double check the wording to be sure
  3. Get ahead of any problems – at some point things are bound to need a little repair, so getting the boiler serviced regularly helps route of these problems early before they cause you a major headache from a breakdown or replacement which will be much more expensive…
  4. Push out having to replace it – for most boilers, it is definitely cheaper in the long run to keep them well maintained and serviced regularly, which will prolong their life, than rushing to replace them with a new boiler.
  5. Save on energy bills – even though a service will cost you money, a healthy boiler will be more efficient and therefore save you money over time compared to an inefficient un-serviced boiler that could be wasting your money.

When should I do it?

The first part of the answer is easy – once a year. It’s a common condition for the warranty on newer boilers and for most boiler cover policies, and it’s regular enough to keep wear and tear to a minimum and maintain a good condition. Any more frequently than this probably isn’t going to help any further and will cost more than you need to spend on servicing.

If you start to notice that your boiler doesn’t seem to be running very efficiently, it might also be worth getting it serviced to see if there’s anything wrong or that could be improved. Again, this is the perfect opportunity where spending money on a service might save you money from the improved efficiency.

Moving into a new house is also a good time to get it serviced if you’re not sure when it was last looked at and can make sure you’re not left with any unpleasant surprises as you settle in.

As far as the time of year to get it serviced, it’s really up to you. A lot of people like to time services with the end of autumn to make minimize the risk of breakdowns over winter, while others might opt for summer as engineers are more likely to be readily available as there will be fewer emergency callouts for them in these months. Most boiler cover packages that include a service in the same cost will require you to have them done over summer for this reason. None of this means you shouldn’t get one over spring or winter, or that won’t be able to find an engineer in these periods, you might just have to book a few more weeks in advance if it’s busy.

But the most important thing is don’t just wait until you have a problem, as by then you won’t get the same benefit and repair costs will end up being higher.

How much will it cost?

The average cost of a boiler service can be anywhere from £60 to over £100 and as explained below can vary based on various factors, including the provider, your type of boiler, and where you live.

The larger well-known brands generally charge 25-50% more than local providers, but booking with an individual engineer from the local trade listings can come with its own difficulties (like reputability, reduced availability, and not having a way of booking online at any time). Larger cities, particularly London, can inflate the price further due to the demand, and if your boiler is particularly old or from a lesser known manufacturer it can sometimes cost more if the provider has variable pricing as it’s harder to find parts and more likely to breakdown soon.

At coverbaloo, we like to keep things simple. We will soon be launching boiler services for £80 as a one off payment, wherever you live in the UK for any standard system or combi boiler. We use a large network of local engineers who have all been individually approved and vetted, to give you the best availability and trust in their work. You’ll be able to book a slot through our website whenever you like with appointments as early as next week. Check back on our site soon for details of how to book.

What about emergency boiler cover?

There are many providers that offer boiler services included within their boiler or home emergency cover products. Whether this is worth it for you may be better split into two questions:

  • Is Home Emergency cover right for you?
  • Is it better to get a service included or separate?

This all depends on what you’re looking for and how likely you think you are to need to claim, which is typically strongly related to your boiler’s age.

If your only concern is related to your boiler breaking down, and it’s only a few years old, chances are you may be better off saving the money on cover and using it to pay for any repairs if they do appear.

If your boiler is older or you’re looking for the peace of mind of knowing you just have one phone number to ring if things go wrong, extending beyond your boiler to electrics, plumbing, or gas, then Home Emergency cover can be really useful for covering problems that require the help of a skilled tradesperson.

At coverbaloo we offer Home Emergency cover for only £10 a month that covers you for 11 different emergencies in your home, including boiler breakdown, leaking pipes or blocked drains, electrical breakdown, loss of gas supply, roofing damage, pest infestation and more.

If you do decide that Home Emergency or boiler cover is right for you, then the question is whether you get a service included or separately. At the expense of some convenience, we find that more often than not bundled policies ends up costing you more for the service than you would pay elsewhere and restrict you to when you can arrange the service (typically only over summer months).

Our view is that it’s better to keep things separate to give you the choice. Our Home Emergency policy remains at £10 a month and doesn’t include a service, leaving it to you to arrange it however you want – soon you’ll be able to organize it though us online for £80 whenever you want, or through someone else that you might already know locally.

 

For more information about our Home Emergency product, you can visit this page of our website here.

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